Isolation of a 1,4-diketone intermediate in oxidative dimerization of 2-hydroxyanthracene and its conversion to oxahelicene.

Oxidation of 2-hydroxy-9,10-dialkynylanthracenes resulted in highly regioselective dimerization to furnish metastable dearomatized 1,4-diketones rather than stable aromatic diols. The 1,4-diketones were converted to oxahelicenes, which exhibited strong fluorescence both in solution and solid state as well as chiroptical properties.